Richard Gilliam | KALW

Richard Gilliam

Credit California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

Inmate Richard Gilliam has been sending us dispatches to let the general public know what life is like for California’s roughly 136,000 prisoners.  Gilliam starts today by talking about the effects of the civil rights movement on inmate life.

GILLIAM: It was due to fears about prisoner empowerment and social-recognition that politicians and law enforcement officials began a vilification campaign of criminals. They acheived this by positing criminals  – and by extension prisoners – opposite the victims of crime.